August 1, 2014

Two arrested after marijuana grow discovered

Two people were arrested Thursday after deputies attempting to serve an arrest warrant discovered a marijuana growing operation at a Big Pine Key home.

Deputies Donald Stullken and Sean Moran went to the home at 30582 5th Avenue, Big Pine Key shortly after 2 a.m. looking for a man named Jared Michael Long wanted on an outstanding warrant. The home was his last known address.

When they arrived, they checked around the property for Long. They found two utility trailers which had air conditioners running inside; one had music coming from it as well.

As they got closer to the trailers they could smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside. The trailer with music coming from it was unlocked, so they knocked and then opened the door to see if Long was inside. Instead of finding Long, they found a marijuana growing operation.

They notified their sergeant about what they found; he in turn notified the Sheriff's Special Investigations Unit so they could respond for further investigation.

As they were waiting for detectives to arrive, the deputies made contact with 66 year old Christine Kennedy, who was inside the rear of the residence on the property. Kennedy gave them permission to search the residence for Long, whom she said she didn't know. She also admitted to having marijuana inside the residence. The deputies took possession of a package of marijuana weighting 26 grams. She told them the trailers belonged to a man she did not know well. She said she only knew him by the name "Robby". She denied knowing what was inside the trailers.

When detectives arrived, they checked the registration on one of the trailers, which returned to a 50 year old Robert Blake. The other trailer had no license tag visible. Kennedy told them Blake would come to the property daily to check on the trailers.

Both trailers had air conditioning and had power and water running to them. A storage unit on the property also had water running to it and outside detectives found equipment and materials consistent with growing marijuana.

A search warrant was obtained for the trailers. Inside they found 132 marijuana plants. The plants were being cultivated in a sophisticated growing operation which included LED lighting, irrigation equipment, power supplies, air conditioning and items for packaging the marijuana once it was harvested. There was also harvested marijuana in the trailers weighting 372 grams.

Upon further questioning by detectives, Kennedy admitted that Blake, the owner of the trailers, was her son-in-law.

While detectives were on scene, Blake arrived. He was driving a Chevrolet Suburban. In the vehicle detectives found more marijuana as well as labels marked with different types of marijuana; these labels were similar to labels found inside the trailers as well.

Blake, who lives on Cudjoe Key, and Kennedy were both arrested. She was charged with possessing a felony amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He was charged with cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both were booked into jail.

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